Maintaining

The janitor at a racetrack replaces
the liners in the trashcans
like the fresh bags are renewals
of their souls.
The cameras in the corners
make him feel like if he’s slow
the world will know it.
So what if he doesn’t want
to get his hands on all the bloodstains
in the bleachers?
I wouldn’t either, and I’m pretty sure
that most would feel the same.
If something’s yours
it should be up to you to keep it
how you want it.
All this sacrifice is only on one side.
I’m at a party that is full
of people telling me
who I’m supposed to be, and she is
whispering she never wants to leave.
I will break the one acoustic guitar
that is leaning against the wall
waiting to be played.
It will shatter like a barricaded
door burst through by every
father who could not hand down
their hope without a fight.
They took the day and built a kite
that burnt up in the atmosphere
like plastic wrapped around
a melting photo.
I will not be among you
with those faces in the crowds
out at the ballgame, or the protests, or
the other bullshit filled with floating lanterns.
There has to be some other way
to keep the creeping hold at bay,
and make a day for something new
to wander in like someone
far away has closed the distance
in between.

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